champagne & black coffee

A lifestyle and fashion blog offering personal style & beauty tips, inspiration, and glimpses into my everyday life.

Month: June 2016

Your July 4th Weekend Wardrobe Is Here!

The long July 4th weekend is fast approaching, but don’t worry because I’ve got you covered! I’ll be heading out of town with 3 girlfriends for a low-key, relaxing getaway. We’ll be inland but our focus is on relaxation, pampering ourselves, and good eats! My personal suitcase will have a mixture of simple, casual classics like my favorite BKE cutoffs and comfortable Soludos flats, but I’ll amp it up for our night on the town with a cute Eight Sixty romper or French Connection bodycon dress.  And of course…swimsuits and coverups!

Whether you’re keeping it low key for a neighborhood cookout, heading out of town, or hitting the town dressed to the nines you can find your perfect patriotic wardrobe staple here. I’ve scoured the internet and hand-picked my favorite mix of trends and classics. Come shop with me!

Click each photo for links to my favorite picks in each category:

Instagram Outfit Roundup

It’s been about a month and a half since I’ve detailed any of my fashion choices here on the blog so I thought I’d do a little outfit roundup of my recent favorites.  I’ve struggled to balance all of the different priorities in my life for the last short while and I think that is reflected in my lack of focus here.  But that’s how life goes sometimes and every once in awhile, something – or a lot of things – has to give. 🙂

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It’s tough to pick a favorite one, but this hippie/boho look probably tops the list.  The perfect combo of comfortable, cute and full of character, these palazzo pants and flowy Aztec top are casual without being frumpy.  Add to that my favorite new accessories from Boho Betty and you’ve got yourself a fairly effortless boho look.  [Bonus for you:  if you use my promo code CHAMPCOFFEE you can get an EXTRA 20% OFF all regular and sale prices!]

Shop my whole outfit here:  Top | Palazzo Pants | Sandals | Bracelets (20% off with code CHAMPCOFFEE)

Similar items:
Top – 6pm.com | Scully
Pants – ABS (73% off) | Adrianna Papell
Sandals – Schutz | Loeffler Randall
Bracelets – BaubleBar | Elizabeth and James | Me to We

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This lemon print dress is a departure from my norm but I LOVE IT!!!  It’s kind of reminiscent of the 50’s and the cut is extremely flattering – fit n flare but there are even extra pleats sewn in to create an even bigger poof.  Just looking at it makes me happy and there’s also a tank, blouse and midi skirt in the same print!  Similar styles linked!

Shop my whole outfit here:  Dress | Clutch | Shoes

Similar items:
Dress – Dolce & Gabbana (65% off)| Lanvin (60% off)
Clutch – Michael Kors | Judith Leiber (20% off with code SUMMER for both)
Shoes – Sole Society | Prada (20% off with code SUMMER)

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Blush and white (and tassels) are a huge trend right now and this is one of my favorite and easiest outfits for summer.  It’s perfect for when you’re in a hurry – and I almost always am! – and need to look put together and comfortable at the same time.  Every single item in the photo below is a bargain and adds up to a total of around $100, including jewelry!!  I featured this bag in one of my earlier Splurge vs Steal posts HERE since it’s a great Chloe’ dupe.  I’ve linked what I can but included similar items as well!

Shop my whole outfit here:  Bag | Peplum Top (30%off)| SkinnyJeans (50%off)

Similar Items:
Bag – Deux Lux (vegan leather and 25%off) | Milly Astor
Peplum – Anthropologie | Nasty Gal
Skinny Jeans – Levi’s (20%off) | Joe’s Jeans (50%off)
Jewelry – Natasha Couture | Trina Turk (70%off) | Liz Claiborne (35%off)
Sandals – VANELi (20%off)| Prada

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I get SOOOO many compliments on this shirt.  Seriously, I can’t leave the house wearing it without someone stopping to ask where I got it or to give a simple compliment.  Great find and an even better price!  [edit:  I think they may be out of stock but I found it at Francesca’s in New Orleans] And these distressed crops are my go-to for just about everything.  I need to look into investing in another pair, but I really want to find some good quality white crops (black ones, too).   Ok, so here are the details – entire outfit under $100.

Shop my whole outfit here:  Top (out of stock)| Crop jeans | Shoes

Similar items:
Top – O’Neill | Moon River (dress)
Crop Jeans – Joe’s Jeans (25%off) | Michael Kors
Shoes – Via Spiga (20%off) | Caslon

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And finally, the outfit that – to me – SCREAMS summertime!!  I love this little crocheted poncho SO much… and what an easy what to make a statement with absolute minimal effort.  I mean, you literally just throw it on over a tanktop and you’re done.   I paired it here with an older pair of French Connection floral jeans I picked up in Vegas a few years back.  Florals and cuffed hems are a huge trend right now so I guess I was ahead of the curve without knowing it at the time. 🙂

Shop my whole outfit here:  Poncho (no longer available) | Shorts | Bracelets (use code CHAMPCOFFEE for 20% off)

Similar Items:
Poncho – Lauren Ralph Lauren (60%off)| Ariat6pm.com (on sale under $35)
Shorts – Levi’s (50%off) | I RAGAZZI DEL ROSSO ($75%off)
Sandals – Sam Edelman | Free People
Bracelets – Bluefly | Aqua
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I hope you’ve enjoyed!  Check my Shop My Instagram Looks page for more style links!

Contrary To Popular Belief…

Wedding Series:  Part 4 of 5

So many people go into the wedding planning phase of their engagement thinking that they have to do certain things a certain way just because it’s the way it’s always been done, or because their parents or friends did it that way.   This post is meant to open up some doors and to help expectations, both of which – in theory – should have the end result of reducing stress and worry!

So… contrary to popular belief:

1) Your wedding isn’t JUST about you.
Yea, I said it.  It’s your wedding day but it isn’t just about you.  Now hear me out — there’s a difference between the day being planned as a celebration of your marriage to your spouse versus the world revolving entirely around you no matter what the cost, financial or emotional.
Think about it… it’s also an opportunity to thank all of the people in your life who helped you become who and what you are today.  It’s a time for family, friends and togetherness.  It’s a time to reflect and show appreciation.  It’s a time to extend grace and to make amends.  Yes, your wedding day is definitely about you and your fiance, but it isn’t JUST about you.  Remember that and also make it apparent.

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2) Your wedding day will not be 100% perfect and it will be OK.
I’m willing to bet that if you interviewed 200 brides, not one of them would be able to truthfully tell you that their wedding day went off without a hitch.  But I’m also willing to bet that they would be able to tell you that everything worked out, and in some cases, the imperfection of sorts created some sort of comic relief or a break in the silence or an ease of tension. Maybe the flower girl refuses to walk down the aisle and ugly-cries for the rest of the ceremony.  Maybe one of the groomsmen forgets his matching shoes.  Maybe a bridesmaid forgets to get her dress hemmed or pressed.  Maybe the caterer is late or the venue is locked when you arrived (happened to me!).  Maybe you don’t love your hair or you makeup and maybe everyone is driving you absolutely bananas with their questions or drama or attempts to help or lack of responsiveness. I PROMISE…it will all work out, one way or another, and your day will be great!
So many brides – and grooms – work so hard to execute this perfect vision and are stressed to the max about the possibility of one little thing going wrong.  I’m not saying anyone is wrong for feeling this way – it’s not wrong, it’s human nature!!  But what I’m here to tell you is that something WILL go wrong… and it will be A-OK! So if it’s possible to go ahead and set that expectation for your day, it may just save you some frustration or worry or stress. Maybe. 🙂

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3) Your engagement period is about more than planning your wedding.
This one is actually harder than it seems, especially if you have a shorter timeline between your engagement and your wedding. Be sure to connect with each other about NOT wedding things!!  Have some carefree fun!Talk about serious things.  Plan date nights. Talk about the future. Relax!
It’s normal to be SO excited after you get engaged and jump right into wedding planning mode… the trick is to find a way to balance the wedding with the rest of your life and not let it entirely consume your every action and thought.  Remember, you’re going to spend THE REST OF YOUR LIFE – theoretically – with your person so you may want to really spend some time making absolute sure this is right for you and that you’re on the same page about the big stuff.  And don’t forget your friends and your job.  Don’t make too much of a habit of rejecting every offer that comes your way because you have XYZ for the wedding going on.  Have some fun and de-stress with your people!! Oh yea! And soak up that last bit of non-married life you can.  It’s not really all the different, but it is to a degree. 🙂

4) All of the investments you make for your wedding don’t have to be “for that day only”  
Think about all of the “stuff” people buy for their wedding… 10s of 100s of vases, mason jars, bubbles, trinkets, serving dishes, lights, all sorts of things depending on your wedding and venue.  What in the world are you going to do with that many vases and where are you going to store them?!?!
This could really go 1 of 3 ways, one being you buy all this stuff for a one-time use and, in a way, “waste” money.  Another way you could think about some of those items is to choose a theme or style that allows you to re-use some of those items in your home, or in someone else’s home after the wedding.  We actually use quite a few of our vases and mason jars decoratively throughout our home and we’ve lent them out to others many times to make sure they get as much use as possible.  And a third option is to consider renting some of those items you may only use the one time.  My best friend recently got married and did this, and in hindsight for me, it was such a good idea.  It never even crossed my mind at the time of my wedding, but for a reasonable fee she was able to rent (and not have to deal with cleanup and storage) some REALLY cute stuff that went perfectly with her wedding theme.
My point is – think about these things in your planning like I should have.  All of those little things add up pretty quickly when you’re talking mass quantity and someone’s gotta pick it up and clean it out the night of the wedding (thanks, family!)

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5) You probably won’t have sex on your wedding night.  
You might.  But you really might not.  If it’s a priority, make it one.  If it’s not, know that going in.  It is a LONG day and a LONG weekend.  There’s exhaustion and alcohol and more alcohol and possible drama (hopefully not) and fill-in-the-blank.  Just make sure your talk this one through with your soon-to-be-spouse and make sure you’re semi on the same page about it.  You don’t want any expectations not being met by either party on day 1! Plus… ummmm honeymoon, hello!

6)  There are no rules when it comes to your wedding day
It’s yours and your husband’s event, you get to make the rules.  If you don’t want to have a cake, don’t.  If you want a bouquet toss but think the whole garter thing is ridiculous, do what you want.  If you want it to be an over-21 event?  Make it happen.  If you want a bridesman or a groomswoman, ask whoever you want to be in your bridal party.  If you want anything under the sun and can afford it on your own, make it happen!
Ok, ok, ok.  I can acknowledge that my particular situation may be more rare and I am thankful.  I had unbelievably helpful and laid back and supportive family members on both sides.  No one was relentlessly overbearing or pushing their own agenda or making crazy demands.  We were lucky and very very thankful.  So I can recognize that some folks may have a harder time – especially when money is involved – managing family expectations, etc.  But the point I’m trying to make, even if you have a controlling mother or a crazy in-law or what have you, be sure to put your foot down where you can and reinforce the idea that this is YOUR wedding, not theirs.  They’ve already had their chance to get married, maybe. 🙂

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Part 1:  6 Unique Wedding DIYs & Cost Saving Tips
Part 2: 6 Wedding Planning Tips That Are Guaranteed To Reduce Stress
Par 3:  6 Pieces of Priceless Wedding Day Advice

Part 5:  OK You’re Married, Now What?

**All photos by Realities Photography

This Summer’s Top 5 One-Piece Swimsuits

One-piece swimsuits.  This is a subject that is very near and dear to my heart…. mostly because I have the WORST time finding a one-piece swimsuit that I like, much less love.  In fact, until the last year or two, it’s been nearly impossible to find many I’d even consider trying on based on style alone.  I’m so happy this type of suit has been trending over the last year or two so the designers out there have really stepped up their game in terms of creativity, flattering print and cut.

I’d venture to say that I’ve tried on over 150 swimsuits in the last few years so I’ve started to really hone in on what will and won’t work for my body type.  I have a curvy but athletic build, I haven’t had a truly toned tummy in many years, 5’5″ in height but a very short torso, and a bit busty up top.  One-piece suits are still my absolute nemesis, but I’ve scoured the internet looking for the perfect suit.  For the purposes of the list, I’ve even upped the ante to include zero black or solid suits… a tough feat!!  Here are my Top 5 picks:

1) Marakesh Express Monokini by Gottex – $188
This is perhaps my favorite of my pics (although my husband thinks there should either be more middle coverage or turn it into a bikini – we agree to disagree).  I love that the back looks like a two piece with a scoop bottom and the front provides ample coverage up top.  To me this seems like the perfect middle ground between a bikini and a one-piece and could be an easy transition for any person trying to edge into the style or “hide” their belly without having to wear a granny swimsuit.  No offense, grannies.

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2) Aerin Rose’s Le Marais Mutli One Piece Bandeau – $172
There’s just something about this one.  I can’t imagine it NOT being flattering.  It’s got tons of color and personality, but the design itself is quite simple and minimal.  I love the black side sections and the keyhole back.  The swimsuits that still dip down close to a bikini level in the back just make it fell less old-maidish (is that a word?!).  I love that this suit can be strapless or give you that extra support with some simple black straps.  I’m REALLY tempted to purchase this one for myself!

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3) Mara Hoffman Fractals Red Knot Front – $253
This one honestly reminds me of my childhood…but more mature, obviously.  The little side circle cut outs and the the knot in front, the black and white + kaleidoscope pattern mixing.  I just kinda dig it.  The back on this one is really cute with that extra tie detail, but I’m a bit hesitant about trying this one out personally because of the bum coverage… but I’d be curious to try it on!

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4) Mara Hoffman Wheatfield Slit Front – $218
This is one of those suits I wish would work for me.  The front slit V’s down a bit too far for me – my boobs would be on aggressive display, ha!  But this pattern is SO cute.  And I love the subtle mix of coverage vs exposure.  If my boobs wouldn’t be obscene in this one I’d totally try this one out!

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5) Venus Maui Vibes One Piece – $66 (on sale from $82)
This black floral pattern is awesome!   Actually, just about everything about this suit is awesome!  The back is like a bikini, the front seems to have an extremely flattering cut the hides and accentuates and just the right place.  Yep, I might have to pick this one up , too!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed!  I scour the internet every year – multiple times – looking for THE suit.  Sometimes at the beginning of a season I’ll order 10 or 12 and send most of them back (because they have to be PERFECT and I have to feel confident wearing them).  I’ve definitely improved as far as knowing what to try and what not to bother with, especially with online ordering.  I feel like these particular suits could look great on a variety of people and shapes and could potentially give you that extra bit of confidence most people are searching for as they get closer and closer to spring and summer.  Leave me a comment or shoot me an email if any of these work or don’t work for you!!

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